Remember to Remember
The Temptation of Inner Sense
How much do you want to remember of your past? Is there anything you would rather forget? How much would you have to give up to completely forget a single memory – and how to regain what you don’t know you’ve lost?
If you are actually a reincarnating immortal, how much have you forgotten, how and why did you forget your past – and do you want to remember it?
In a single life you can do many different things and be many different people to those who encounter you. The stages of life alter your attitudes, image, self-image and perceptual reality. Are you the same person you were when you were younger, or a child? Does that child still dwell somewhere within you or is it sleeping or buried beneath the detritus of time?
You were born and lived for years in the body of a small child. All that time you were conscious, learning and aware. You were probably more aware and sensitive than in the rest of your entire lifetime. How much of it do you remember? Your personality and character was almost fully formed – and fundamentally identical to your present state – before the age of three.
How many of your past lives can you remember? If you can’t remember your own childhood, how can you expect to recall any times further back, beyond your birth? What was your birth into this world like?
Can it be that you are immortal and that you have chosen to forget? Would you choose to remember, given the choice?
The processes that can lead to a loss of memory are many and varied. For example head injury, a spell in a sensory deprivation chamber or hypnosis are able to alter memory or suppress it beneath layers of reactions that can drive the mind away from its own experiences. Painful experiences are one motivation that can help convince you to lose your memory. But the will to forget comes first, before the actual forgetting.
You’re the one in charge of your awareness. You have to decide to lose yourself before you can; but that decision may be a single traumatised moment in an entire lifetime and it may be separated by years in time from the apparent ‘cause’ of forgetfulness, be it injury or therapy.
Almost everyone wishes for a ‘clean slate’ at some point in their life, a new start or another chance. It’s the temptation of innocence. The implications of wanting a new beginning are rarely considered, but usually involve death and rebirth, actual or mythic.
Fortunately, we don’t actually get a tabula rasa – a clean slate – when we die or otherwise forget, but a palimpsest – a sheet that’s been erased to write upon again. And the underlying inscription always lurks beneath the surface scribing.
More intense memories inscribe deeper impressions in our mindscape, that tend to emerge from beneath the single sheeted plane of (con)temporary temporal existence. They may arrive as memory ‘flashbacks’ (often dismissed as dreams or hallucinations), bouts of deja vu, or be the source of unexamined compulsions. Any imagery that recurs over and again deserves closer examination and can be a seed point from which you can expand your recollections. Suppressed memories and their effects are never gone. They’re always here. Wherever or whenever you go, here you are. You may run, but you can’t hide from yourself.
The common mechanisms for self-erasure involve death and rebirth. A few weeks in a sensory deprivation chamber removed from external stimulus will serve to erase much of your mind. Without meditation training and/or much self-examination, current existence dissolves in an ongoing miasma of dreams and visions.
The Other ‘Little Death’
Meditation, lucid sleep and conscious dreaming are pathways to expand the time your own awareness (and memory of these other realms) is available to you. Examining your awareness on the threshold of sleep can show you that you are more than the sum of your mundane experience. Without such experimentation at least a third of this life is beyond your ken.
Effective meditation lifts you above the local realm of your cultural imprints, particularly language. Real communication occurs at much deeper levels than those available through local, temporary linguistics. The eternal being doesn’t speak in linear languages. Words and syllables are finite shorthand used by the immortal and ineffable to express itself; one reason why ‘oral traditions’ are effective at communicating truths that are all but inexpressible in the written form.
Meditation involves stopping your thoughts, quieting the continual chatter of the ‘monkey mind’ – the local personality that believes endless talking and action proves it’s alive, the internal being that panics and attempts to distract you with more thought when you ask it to shut up. The monkey believes that peace is death and can’t be convinced otherwise until you leapfrog over it to reach the central throne of your own inner self, where the only real peace resides and where true will abides. It’s this nameless core in you that survives to go on forever, wreathed in the cloaks of personality and experience.
God doesn’t dwell in books or words. God lives in you.
The will to forget may arise from a single moment but it’s an ongoing process. You can’t forget once, but must continually re-forget, day by day, again and again. The amnesiac is held between and attracted by two magnetic currents of their own construction; the will to forget and the wish to remember. A physical or mental trauma will be buried not once but continually as the amnesiac allows their self to be distracted from the source of inner terror over and again. Every time an intimation of the ‘lost’ memory appears it’s ignored, suppressed or otherwise run from.
Knowing that there’s something you don’t recall, it’s all too easy to believe you don’t want to remember because you’re guilty of something horrendous. This easily becomes a motive to continue to suppress the memory that’s trying to awaken you. But far more often the guilt is actually imaginary and is simply a major motivating and reinforcing mechanism of amnesia itself. It’s another tool of the monkey mind that serves to keep you split from yourself, away from your own centre.
The wish to remember is always present and the moment of Enlightenment is always immanent. When exploring past lives the first memories that return are often ones that have left the deepest imprints. The impression may be of pain or ecstasy but it will commonly be of an intense time, often involving trauma at the end of an incarnation. These first recollections are sometimes enough to stop the seeker from searching further into the endless realms of experience, where wonderful ages full of magic and bliss can be occluded by one angry moment. Don’t put yourself off – the monkey is panicking.
As Kurt Vonnegut said, one way to get through life happily is to concentrate on the good things. To achieve inner illumination is to see that you are continually creating reality at every moment, from a place beyond time and space. Your mind is always somewhere other than where you are. Words, language and even thought are always at least one step behind reality and with them you can never apprehend NOW.
To do that, you have to be here now. You have to want to be here now. Look around, explore it will all your senses. It’s still a beautiful world and you are God. Love yourself and all others – we’re all in it together!
- R. Ayana
Images - Author's
Author's images & collages of work by Alex Grey & others - see http://www.alexgrey.com
For further enlightenment see –
The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com
New Illuminati – http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com
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